Hamas loses $230 million a month due to tunnel closure

(JNS.org) Egypt’s closure of smuggling tunnels between Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula is costing Hamas $230 million in lost revenue a month, a senior official in the terrorist organization said.

An IDF soldier pictured in 2006 at a tunnel uncovered during an Israeli counter-terrorism operation designated to thwart weapons smuggling from Egypt to Gaza through the Philadelphia Route, in southern Gaza. Credit: Israeli Defense Forces.

The "closure of the tunnels caused heavy losses to the industry, commerce, agriculture, transport and construction sectors of around $230 million monthly,” said Hatem Oweida, Hamas’ deputy economic minister, AFP reported.

Since taking control of Gaza in 2007, Hamas has used the smuggling tunnels to transfer economic goods, as well as weapons and rockets, into the territory. Hamas also generates a lot of revenue by taxing goods that pass through the tunnels.

However, Egypt’s military backed government has accused Hamas of supporting terrorists in the Sinai and has launched a campaign to destroy the tunnels. Last month, Egypt said it shut down more than 130 tunnels between Gaza and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.

Meanwhile, Israel recently uncovered a massive tunnel stretching from southern Gaza to Israel’s Eshkol region. Israel fears that other tunnels could exist and be used to kidnap soldiers or carry out terrorist attacks inside of Israel.


Posted on October 28, 2013 .